So it may seem kind of funny that my first article for my brand new blog is about toothpaste, but after I explain why I am in love with brushing my teeth right now perhaps my excitement will become contagious in a healthy way. As a photographer, I lead a very active professional life and the hours are often all over the place. There are times when my nighttime hygiene program suffers, such as after covering a late night event that usually includes copious amounts of alcohol consumption and noshing on various gourmet nibbles. There are occasions when I drop my heavy gear in the hallway, kick off my boots and collapse on the sofa without taking off my makeup or brushing my teeth. Before I know it I am asleep, waking up the next morning with dragon breath and peering at my iPhone screen through mascara encrusted eyes. Not good.
To be fair to myself, I am much better at the self disciple required to get my act together before going to sleep now than in the past, but I do still lapse from time to time. Caring for my teeth has always been important to me since I suffered through a very painful root canal many years ago. I resolved after that procedure to always put my oral care first during my morning and nighttime hygiene rituals. I recently attended a breakfast at a chic Midtown hotel where I learned about a new toothpaste that uses a natural plant based ingredient to highlight the plaque on teeth. The funny looking gel is a deep green color but it has a lovely mint aroma and the taste is even better. I asked Dr. Lawrence Hier, DDS M.S., the developer of PlaqueHD, if it matters whether I use an electronic toothbrush or manual, and he responded that this was a very good question and surprised me by saying that he recommends using both. The manual toothbrush is apparently capable of reaching spots that are often missed with the electric toothbrush, especially as we often think we are doing a better job with the machine. So I started using PlaqueHD with the manual toothbrush and immediately noticed marked results. First, after brushing, my mouth tasted minty and great, but not overpowering, and my teeth felt so clean, smooth and plaque free.
The toothpaste left behind a green stain around the gum line of my teeth that showed me where the plaque remained after my first brushing. This is the effect of the patented Targetol technology that is unique to Plaque HD. I was pretty surprised to see this as I always considered myself a thorough brusher, but after going at the spots that were stained I was able to present a much whiter smile in the mirror. I love the smooth and clean feeling that the toothpaste gives my mouth and there is another bonus to using PlaqueHD, apparently in trials it was discovered that use of the new toothpaste can reduce stroke and heart attack. Doctors have long known the connection between oral disease and inflammatory diseases affecting the entire body. Inflammation throughout the body is accurately measured by high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a sensitive marker for future heart attacks and strokes. The study’s results, published in the American Journal of Medicine, with an accompanying editorial by the editor-in-chief, show that Plaque HD produced statistically significant reductions in dental plaque and inflammation throughout the body as measured by hs-CRP.
In the trial, all randomized subjects were given the same brushing protocol and received a 60-day supply of toothpaste containing either Plaque HD or an identical non-plaque identifying placebo toothpaste. To assess dental plaque, all subjects utilized a fluorescein mouth rinse, and intraoral photographs were taken under black light imaging. For hs-CRP, levels were measured by an independent laboratory using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. “While the findings on reducing dental plaque extend a previous observation, the findings on decreasing inflammation are new and novel,” said Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.P.H., senior author and first Sir Richard Doll Professor, and senior academic advisor to the dean in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University.
The good news is that by targeting the plaque on the teeth and reducing the risk of oral inflammation and gum disease, there is a good chance you are also helping out your heart and your body’s ability to deter other ailments. A holistic approach to health care that starts with your toothbrush and a whiter smile.